This may be controversial, but your follower number is NOT the most important social media metric for your business.
The truth of the matter, followers don’t mean anything if they aren’t consuming your content. You can have 100,000 followers, but if they’re not interested in your content or, more importantly, your product or service, they have ZERO value online or, more importantly, to your bottom line.
Are you ready for a social media horror story? Over the past few years, we’ve seen Australian accounts purchased and transferred from overseas with tens of thousands of existing followers from another country. We’ve even seen accounts where the main follower base doesn’t even speak the same language. True story! Think this sounds like a good plan to grow your follower numbers? We can confidentially guarantee these ‘followers’ will not be dining in your restaurant, using your service, or shopping from your store, eCommerce or not, so what’s the point?
Which metrics REALLY matter when it comes to social media? Engagement is MUCH more important than followers in terms of the algorithm and connecting with your community, but what matters MOST to your business should be RESULTS.
So how do you define ‘engagement’? Engagement is an umbrella category that encompasses the comments, shares, saves, and likes you get on your content. Every platform has its own naming conventions of these metrics; ultimately, they all provide the same outcome – indicating how much your audience is interacting with your content and how often.
High engagement rates indicate a healthy and connected audience. If your primary goal is to increase your brand awareness and build strong relationships with your customers, engagement is a key metric you should focus on improving.
Engagement is also the golden ticket for being seen in your audience’s social media feeds. The algorithms built into most social media platforms prioritize content that is popular and deemed relevant to the target audience.
When it comes to measuring results, these should be unique to your business objectives and may vary from eCommerce sales to lead generation, from web traffic to foot traffic, or from brand awareness to bookings. It’s critical you understand what you are trying to achieve through your social media marketing and measure your activity from each channel against those objectives.
Each platform has its own way of providing opportunities to boost engagement and deliver marketing results. We’ve explored these methods for some of the world’s leading platforms and detailed exactly how you can capitalize on these features. Get ready to level up your social media marketing!
Arguably one of the most popular places to reach your target audience and build a community of engaged followers is on Instagram. With almost 11 million Australian users, it has mass reach yet allows you to create and engage with a like-minded community. Up until 2018, content performance was judged primarily on the likes received on a post. Instagram has since hidden likes in an attempt to abolish the ‘popularity’ bias, making the platform a whole lot more holistic and transparent, or the more cynical might argue to hide declining organic reach.
If you’re looking to increase your engagement on Instagram, you should:
- Create ‘savable’ content for your feed,
- Encourage conversation in your comment sections,
- Ask questions or start debates through Instagram story stickers,
- Create engaging video content
- Open up about your brand and story, and
- Pay close attention to your hashtags
Very recently, Instagram REELS has been released and has incredible organic reach, so get creative, and don’t forget to have fun!
We’re not going to sugar coat it; Instagram can be a tricky platform to drive results from. Unless you have more than 10,000 followers, you get ONE link per profile (in your bio), so use it wisely. Use your posts to tell your brand story and then link the call to action back to your bio. Rather than the old ‘link in bio ??’ comment try including your handle ‘link @yourname’ to take interested followers straight to it, increasing click conversion rates.
Have over 10,000 followers? You can link directly from your stories, so make sure you’re incorporating them into your content strategy and making the most of this feature. If you’re trying to drive eCommerce sales, consider a plugin to let people shop directly from your feed.
Instagram in the past years has trumped activity on Facebook, with engagement falling due to declining organic reach. Despite this, and with 16 million Australian users, there is still value in utilizing this platform for your business. The best ways to increase your engagement include
- Posting less and focusing on quality rather on quantity
- Scheduling posts when your followers are online
- Sharing curated content
- Experimenting with videos
- Asking for opinions
- Replying to comments and direct messages
- And hosting giveaways
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see an immediate result, stay committed to your strategy, and consistent with your content, and your engagement should continue to grow over time.
Facebook might have lower organic reach, but it’s MUCH easier to drive traffic to your website or eCommerce store directly from your posts. Make sure you include URL links on your posts and consider using UTM codes to accurately track business outcomes.
LinkedIn is a whole other ballpark when it comes to business engagement. The audience is far more professional and corporate orientated, and in turn, your content and engagement strategy should differ from that of Instagram and Facebook. If you are targeting B2B businesses or cater to other professional specific industries, then LinkedIn may be the ideal platform for growing your business.
Like Facebook and Instagram, being active, engaging with other people’s content, replying to comments, and connecting with others all help broaden your reach. However, if you want to significantly lift your engagement, producing or sharing the right kind of content is critical.
It’s essential to use the right tone of voice and content to resonate with a professionally skewed audience. Sharing interesting and relevant articles, telling an industry-related story, facilitating unbiased debates through questions or opinion statements, dispelling industry myths, or sharing positive encouragement are all topics that spark conversation and attract engagement.
Using the right hashtags, but not too many, between 3 to 5 is ideal, using numbers or lists, and ending your post with a question or CTA (call to action) are small changes that can make a powerful difference in how people engage with your content.
Looking to drive results from LinkedIn? Ensure you have a company page for your business and share relevant content on both your business and personal feeds, ideally linking back to your website. Don’t forget to optimise your personal profile with your contact details to make it easy for potential customers or clients to get in touch.
Finally, did you know you can also add multiple digital links to your personal profile? Consider including your website, blog posts, resources like white papers, and eBooks or links to your other social media platforms. Once added, make sure these are switched to public view, ensuring they are visible to all LinkedIn users.
When it comes to social media, you need to apply what works best for your business, and to do this, you need to have a thorough understanding of WHO your target audience is, WHAT their behaviours are and HOW you can connect with them. From there, you can tailor your content to resonate with your ideal customer, while remaining true to your business values and goals. If you nail that, then you can sit back and watch your business soar
Need help with your social media content? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help map out a strategy that is perfect for your business.